Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:51 am

The Passover Plot (Michael Campus, 1976) 6/10

Little seen adaptation of the controversial book by Hugh J. Schonfield which goes contrary to the New Testament in presenting Jesus Christ (Zalman King - who would later go on to direct several soft porn movies) as a con artist. Christ the zealot, having read the Old Testament and its prophesy of a king leading his people to freedom, decides to stage his arrest and fake his death on the cross by taking a sleeping potion and plans to "rise" later after the effect of the medicine wears off. Christ is like a politician here strong-arming his way through some miracles and rabble rousing people to join his "cause" which is basically to oust the Romans from Jerusalem. Matters don't go quite according to plan resulting in the events which the world now believes to be true. The film had a shoestring budget though manages to feel authentic with a number of forceful cameos by familiar faces - Donald Pleasence as Pontius Pilate, Harry Andrews as John the Baptist, Scott Wilson as Judas and Hugh Griffith as Caiaphas. There is a rousing score by Alex North and Oscar nominated costumes. Fascinating alternative look at history not unlike a similar stance (with a different take) by Nikos Kazantzakis in his novel "The Last Temptation of Christ" which was brought to the screen by Martin Scorsese which also proved equally controvercial.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:51 am

Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) 10/10

Haunting, dream-like film is one of Hitchcock's most personal thrillers. From the dazzling titles created by Saul Bass and accompanied by Bernard Herrmann's magnificent score the film sets the tone from the opening nightime roof-top chase sequence which dizzyingly establishes the main protagonist's fear of heights. A retired police detective (James Stewart), suffering from vertigo, is hired by an old friend to follow his disturbed wife (Kim Novak) whom he thinks might harm herself. When she jumps into San Francisco Bay he rescues her and falls in love with her. This deceptively simple plot proves to have more sinister layers which are gradually revealed intertwining the cop and the woman in a macabre dance involving obsession, love, deception and death. This was a rare flop for Hitchcock after a string of hits during the 1950s but the film has gained stature over the years and is now considered to be the director's masterpiece. The success of the film rests on the two stars and both Stewart and Novak deliver outstanding performances. Stewart was coming off a series of brutal westerns by Anthony Mann and here captures the tough yet vulnerable quality of the character who finds himself enraptured by a woman which leads him to the depths of catatonic hysteria. Novak - the ultimate "cool blonde" Hitchcock heroine - makes a dazzling entrance with the camera gliding towards her from afar and capturing her from the back followed by her slow walk towards the camera (and the audience), a vision in black with an emerald green wrap. Her character, initially deadpan but later acquiring a subtle change, is the key to the mystery and her performance is greatly helped by the dramatic costume designs of Edith Head - this is a perfect case of how costumes help to enhance the mood of a film. The entire enterprise deserves praise starting with the intelligent script, the outstanding production design, great use of sound, sharp editing, Robert Burk's outstanding camerawork, the special effects and the iconic score. The film takes us on an exciting rollercoaster ride leading up to a devastating conclusion. A must-see.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:50 am

Scene of the Crime (Roy Rowland, 1949) 3/10

MGM's belated entry into the noir genre is a dull police procedural. A tough cop (Van Johnson) tries to clear the name of his former partner who is gunned down. Deathly slow film goes through the paces with the usual pat clchés. Pretty Arlene Dahl is wasted as the wife-at-home who is disillusioned by her marriage because her cop husband is never home. Boring film.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:50 am

No Questions Asked (Harold F. Kress, 1951) 7/10

Solid hard hitting B-noir with an excellent performance by Barry Sullivan - an insurance lawyer is jilted by his girl friend (Arlene Dahl) and he gets in over his head trying to get rich by making a deal with mobsters over stolen goods. A cop (George Murphy) suspects him while he has on his side a lovelorn girl (Jean Hagen) from his office. The twisting plot full of surprises is courtesy of Sidney Sheldon. Dahl makes an alluringly cold blooded femme fatale. One of many noir gems that are ripe for discovery.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:49 am

Moon Over Burma (Louis King, 1940) 4/10

Standard plot has two men fight for the affections of a woman in an exotic setting. As a vehicle for Dorothy Lamour the screenplay either had her wearing a sarong or in this case she plays a stranded showgirl who has a timber manager (Robert Preston) in Rangoon fall for her while she has eyes for his gruff buddy and partner (Preston Foster). The romance is complicated by a cobra, a forest fire and timber floating down a raging river. Creaky hokum is saved by the three attractive stars.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:49 am

Khyber Patrol (Seumour Friedman, 1954) 4/10

Silly Hollywood version of the skirmishes between the British - led by square jawed Richard Egan - and the Pathans - led absurdly by Raymond Burr playing an "Afridi" tribesman - along the Khyber Pass in the North West Frontier Province of India. Low budget B-film is hilarious in its inaccuracies - check out Hollywood's version of Muslims praying - with enough action sequences and stiff upper lip Brit shenenigans to make this watchable. Dawn Addams plays the love interest of Egan who inexplicably plays a Canadian posted in the British army in India. Absolute hokum.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:48 am

The Diamond Queen (John Brahm, 1953) 3/10

Colorful nonsense is pure hokum. Two frenchman (Fernando Lamas & Gilbert Roland) go to India to get a large diamond which is needed to be put on the crown of King Louis XIV for his upcoming coronation. Helping them in their quest is blonde, green-eyed Arlene Dahl as an Indian Queen which alone puts this enterprise into the realm of pure fantasy. She is a lovely presence though even if all the fake action is created on the backlot with stock shots of chimps and crocodiles stuck on in a most unconvincing way. Rubbish exotica which Hollywood thrust upon the movie going public during the 1950s in competition to the growing "menace" of television.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:48 am

The Harder They Fall (Mark Robson, 1956) 9/10

Backed by the Mob a racketeer (Rod Steiger) hires a has-been sports journalist to build up the reputation of an Argentinian amateur boxer. The plan is to place him in the ring against a series of boxers who have been asked to take a fall. Tough, hard hitting exposé - screenplay by Philip Yordan and based on a book by Budd Schulberg - about the underbelly of the sport of boxing. Superbly acted film was Bogart's last screen appearance - he was dying of lung cancer - and was a fitting swan song to a remarkable career. He is well supported by Steiger as the shark-like crook, Nehemiah Persoff as the shady book keeper and Jan Sterling as his supportive wife. Superbly photographed by Burnett Guffey who was nominated for an Oscar. A morality play warped by greed and power the screenplay provides a critical and nasty view of American society.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:47 am

Veere di Wedding (Shashanka Ghosh, 2018) 2/10

Forced stupid comedy that tries to be daring by presenting four foul-mouthed women - childhood buddies and inseparable friends - experiencing a taggle of emotions while juggling their complicated love lives. The relationship between the four has a natural rhythm depicting frank sexual mores which although may be perfectly natural in private but comes out garishly overplayed on the big screen. The characters surrounding the four young women - assorted boyfriends, parents and prospective in-laws - are broadly drawn and stop the film dead in its tracks with overacted scenes full of corny jokes and situations. The catalyst for the girls getting together is the upcoming wedding of Kalinda (Kareena Kapoor). Her buddies are Avni (Sonam Kapoor), a prim divorce lawyer, Sakshi (Swara Bhasker) and Meera (Shikha Talsania), both already married. The film's idea of fun is to be raunchy - the girls booze, constantly drop the F-bomb along with assorted abuses in hindi, talk about orgasms, indulge in masturbation courtesy of a vibrator, sleep around and pass out drunk. The film channels "Bridesmaids" and "Sex and the City" but without an iota of fun. It all looks very labored and the cast (especially Kareena) look very uncomfortable. Sonam is her usual annoying self while Talsania is the smutty fat girl â la Melissa McCarthy and Bhasker the witty one who's been around the block far too many times. While doing publicity for the film the cast is taking great pains explaining this is not a chick flick but something very true to life. If this is life these women are embracing then God help modern womankind. Trashy film that should be avoided at all cost and should have been banned in Pakistan for being such a crashing bore instead of for its below the female-belt humour.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:47 am

The Star (Stuart Heisler, 1952) 7/10

An interesting companion piece to both "Sunset Blvd" and "All About Eve" about the downside of celebrity caused by advancing age which is a death knell for an actress. A divorced aging has-been actress (Bette Davis), with creditors snapping at her heels, a teenager daughter (Natalie Wood) in tow and a career that is over goes on a drunk bender with her Oscar as companion and ends up in jail. She is rescued by one of her former leading men (Sterling Hayden) who takes pity on her and tries to shield her from reality which she refuses to accept. Once a huge star the woman cannot comprehend the downward spiral in her life and clutching at straws forces her agent to get her a part in an upcoming film. Her screen test is a disaster as she insists on playing the leading lady's older sister as a sexy young vamp. Fascinating character study which Davis nails probably because she herself was on the verge of a similar career spiral although during the decade she managed to persevere but ended up in almost similar fashion during the following decade. This is strictly B-movie material which is appropriate and mirrors the star's career trajectory - from the high of "Eve" two years before to this and similar low budget niche films which were a far cry from her heyday as the top star at Warner Brothers during the 1930s and 1940s. Davis allows herself to be harshly photographed by Ernest Laszlo and Orry Kelly provides frumpy dresses which greatly help her stay in character. Davis was rewarded with an Oscar nomination from her peers for daring to expose herself on screen and something which most of her contemporaries were experiencing in private.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:46 am

Watch on the Rhine (Herman Shumlin, 1943) 7/10

A prestige production based on the hit play by Lillian Hellman with a screenplay by her lover Dashiel Hammett. Filmed at the height of WWII the story is set during early 1940 before the United States entered the War. It is a plea against fascism and a strong nudge to awaken America to the plight of Europe under the growing influence of Nazi menace even though the country was initially adamant at keeping out of the war despite knowledge of what was going on. A german engineer (Paul Lukas), who is in fact working for the anti-fascist underground, arrives with his wife (Bette Davis) and three children into America via Mexico. She is returning home to her mother (Lucille Watson) and brother (Donald Woods) after 18 years. Also staying at their house in Washington, DC is a dissolute Romanian count (George Coulouris) and his wife (Geraldine Fitzgerald). The man discovers cash and a gun in the engineer's briefcase and blackmails him threatening to reveal his presence to the German Attaché (Henry Daniell). The theatrical origin of the story results in a very talky screenplay with the cast standing center stage delivering monologues which are played to the gallery - both Lukas and Watson created their parts on Broadway while Davis, who was the reigning star at Warner Brothers, was given top billing for box office clout. This propaganda film has a subtle and very dignified performance by Lukas and all his scenes opposite Davis are beautifully played with a natural comfort in their depiction of a long married couple still in love and who know that major sacrifices will have to be made by them all for a greater cause in order to make the world a better place again. The film comes off too preachy with the children given the worst and most unnatural dialogue making them appear too stiff as they mouth off Hellman's dialogue. Watson, as the outspoken matriarch, Coulouris as the slimy blackmailer and Fitzgerald as his lovely wife are all very good. The film went down in history as the one which won for Lukas a Best Actor Oscar - a very popular win at the time helped no doubt by the nature of the role set during the War. In hindsight it was an inexplicable win considering he defeated the iconic performance of Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca". The film, Watson and the screenplay were also nominated.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:46 am

Typhoon (Louis King, 1940) 3/10

The famous sarong gets yet another workout courtesy Dorothy Lamour in this rather silly but colorful adventure film. A young girl is shipwrecked on an island with a chimp for company, grows up to be Miss Lamour wearing Edith Head's sarong, saves a sailor (Robert Preston) and his companion (Lynne Overman), they battle with crooked sailors headed by J. Carroll Naish, watch a submarine sink and survive a huge forest fire, a typhoon and three tidal waves. The special effects, circa 1940, were nominated for an Oscar. Great technicolor cinematography. Lousy film.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:45 am

Something to Live For (George Stevens, 1952) 3/10

Extremely dreary film about an alcoholic actress (Joan Fontaine) who is helped by a recovering alcoholic (Ray Milland). Their affair is a dull talkathon with his wife (Teresa Wright) acting noble at home. The great George Stevens went from the high of "A Place in the Sun" to the absolute bottom in just a year with this boring soap opera - he would luckily recover the following year with "Shane". Fontaine is totally out of her depth playing a drunk while Milland gets to dip into his old Oscar winning territory albeit this time around looks dazed throughout. Skip this film.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:22 am

Los Silencios (2018) Beatriz Seigner 5/10
Donbass (2018) Sergey Loznitsa 6/10
Outrage Coda (2017) Takeshi Kitano 4/10
Shock Waves - Diary of My Mind (2018) Ursula Meier 4/10
Grass (2018) Sang-soo Hong 4/10
Happy as Lazzaro (2018) Alice Rohrwacher 9/10
Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) Issa Lopez 2/10
Knife + Heart (2018) Yann Gonzalez 4/10
The Green Fog (2018) Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson & Guy Maddin 6/10
The Dead Nation (2017) Radu Jude 6/10
Victory Day (2018) Sergey Loznitsa 4/10
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:30 am

The Fugue (2018) Agnieszka Smoczynska 4/10
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) Desiree Akhavan 6/10
Chris the Swiss (2018) Anja Kofmel 6/10
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018) Terry Gilliam 3/10
Our House (2018) You Kiyohara 4/10
Sofia (2018) Meryem Benm'Barek-Aloisi 5/10
The Children Act (2018) Richard Eyre 4/10
The Guilty (2018) Gustav Moller 5/10
A Woman Captured (2017) Bernadett Tuza-Ritter 6/10
The Harvesters (2018) Etienne Kallos 4/10
Capharnaum (2018) Nadine Lakaki 1/10
Tower. A Bright Day (2018) Jogoda Szelic 4/10
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.


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